Advice and Opinion

Avoid these mistakes and stressful situations when moving


At least once in their lifetime, the majority of the population will move from one home to another. While some may have a reasonably pleasant experience with few hassles, others may never want to move again after going through it once. According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, moving can be a very stressful endeavor, in fact, according to psychological research, it is among the top major life stressors. However, if people avoid a few key mistakes, the process can be less daunting and a far smoother process.

Employing an unreliable moving company

It may require some research and a bit of time, but using a reliable, professional moving company will relief much of the stress. Often the best way to find the right mover is through a referral from a friend or family member who has used them before. “No two moving experiences are alike, but using a mover that has been referred by a trusted source will to some degree ensure that you know they do a good job,” says Goslett.  “If no-one can provide a referral, there is a lot of information available on the Internet and other forms of public information. Most companies will have websites that list their services, service history, areas they operate in and a rough estimate as to how much it will cost.”

Online searches are great for compiling information and making a list of possible choices. An additional advantage of looking at websites is that they should provide contact information, which allows you to ask questions and obtain a written response. Beware of any companies who do not provide a local address or information about licensing or insurance.

Goslett says that social media is also an excellent platform to garner information. “Social media gives consumers an avenue in which to share their opinions and knowledge, which goes back to finding a referral from someone who has already used a mover and has been impressed by their service,” he adds.

Not shopping around

Shopping around and getting several quotes will provide you with a better idea of whether or not you are getting good value for money from your moving company. Contact a few different providers and get quotes in writing. “During this process, remember that it is very difficult for a moving company to provide an accurate estimate over the phone without conducting an on-site inventory of the goods. The moving company must be prepared to come to the home to provide a written quote,” advises Goslett. “If they insist on a signed contract or deposit before they are willing to provide a quote – rather look elsewhere.”

Taking too many unnecessary things

Moving is a great time to go through all the items in the home and decide what to keep and what can be thrown away. If an item hasn’t been worn, seen or used during the past year, then you probably don’t need it. If you are not keeping it for sentimental reasons, why not give it to someone who will get some use out of it. Evaluating your possessions before you move, will ensure that only the items you want and need go to your new home.

Failing to schedule your move well in advance

Preparation is a key ingredient to a smooth and hassle-free move – so prepare well in advance, rather than leaving it to the last minute and rushing to get everything done. “If the move is scheduled weeks or even months before it happens, it will give you some breathing room and allow time to get everything packed, organised and ready to go,” says Goslett.

Not packing ahead of time

Starting the packing process well before the move will relieve some of the stress. Start by boxing non-essentials, which can be packed ahead of time and put out of the way. “Anything that is not used on a daily basis or essential up until the move can be packed in a box and ready to go.  If the move is in the warmer months, pack away winter clothes and heavy jackets, and duplicate items can be pared down to only the bare essentials,” says Goslett.

Moving will be a far more bearable endeavor if you prepare ahead of time and avoid the avoid mistakes. If you are as organised as possible, it will make the process smoother and something to look forward to.